MRIs: Not Medically Necessary?

Posted By on March 31st, 2010 at 9:02 am | 308 comments.

Yet another patient called me today to say that her doctor wants to order an MRI, but her insurer will not cover the cost, calling MRIs experimental for the purpose of breast cancer detection.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) says “Breast MRI is not used for routine breast cancer screening, but clinical trials (research studies with people) are being performed to determine if MRI is valuable for screening certain women, such as young women at high risk for breast cancer. MRI cannot always accurately distinguish between cancer and benign (non-cancerous) breast conditions.”

I would welcome comments and advice from either side of this discussion.

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